SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – March 2003

Insoles linked to sports injuries. Conventional boots and sports shoes, with a smooth insole, are supposed to guard against injury. But there is concern that a smooth insole may actually dampen sensory information used by the body to adjust movement accordingly. BBC

Tiny babies go on to flunk exams. Babies who are tiny at birth are less likely to do well in their GCSEs as teenagers, researchers have found…In terms of exam grades, the normal birth weight group scored almost half a grade higher for each subject. BBC

Row as 'nanny state' seeks to scare oyster lovers. Ever since Roman times they have been eaten for their aphrodisiac qualities. These days raw oysters are known simply as the food of love. Yet the reputation of Britain's beloved bivalve is under threat, with an ugly spat between leading chefs and the government food safety watchdog. It follows the latest advice from the Food Standards Agency, which encourages consumers to steer clear of raw shellfish to avoid being poisoned. This has triggered a furious response from some of Britain's favourite gastronomes who accuse the agency of a 'nanny state' attitude. Some say the advice could damage a multi-million-pound industry. Observer.

Gardening is 'the ultimate danger sport'. Gardening was described as the "ultimate danger sport" yesterday, with injuries increasing by almost half in five years … According to the latest data, one in 75 of all domestic fatalities, and one in five of all accidents, now occur in or around the garden … High-profile gardening victims include the Prince of Wales, who needed a hernia operation after injuring himself at Highgrove, and Germaine Greer. Telegraph.

Short thighs carry higher diabetes risk. Women with short thighs are more likely to suffer diabetes than their longer-legged peers, reveals a new study. For every centimetre below average thigh length, a white American woman was 19 per cent more likely to have diabetes. They are also more likely to have glucose intolerance, the precursor to diabetes. New Scientist

Nail biting 'damages IQ'. Children who bite their fingernails may be damaging their IQ, a study suggests. Researchers in Russia say children who chew their nails are at greater risk of lead poisoning. BBC